Updated with a response from the company.
Ribbit, a company that has styled itself “Silicon Valley’s first phone company,” has been purchased by BT, the dominant British telecommunications company, we’re hearing.
[Update: A company spokesperson has gotten back to us denying that there’s been an acquisition. However, the company wouldn’t comment on whether or not acquisition talks were taking place. There are a few possibilities here. One is that it my source (and I) are completely wrong and that there’s nothing happening. Another possibility is that the deal hasn’t officially closed but is near closing, with some formalities still to be taken care of. Yet another possibility is that Ribbit is not just looking at an acquisition from BT, but is talking to other potential acquirers; or maybe the company has turned down an offer (or two) and is looking to stay independent. We’re digging for more. Let us know if you know anything to add. My source provided me with enough off-the-record details that I think an acquisition is at least in the picture, which is why I decided to publish in the first place.]
[Update Two: If you chose the second possibility from my previous update, then it appears you’re correct. Techcrunch is reporting that Ribbit has been bought by BT for $55 million.]
Mountain View, Calif.-based Ribbit’s software lets you make a phone call from a web page, or direct your own phone calls to a web page. It includes ways for you to do things like transcribe these calls into text, that you can then search. The company launched in December, with a platform for developers who are looking to build phone-based web-connected applications for large companies.
Most notably, Ribbit has built voice services for online business software company Salesforce, which includes the first service that combines mobile voice automation and so-called software-as-a-service.
Ribbit also released a consumer-facing product called Amphibian last month.
Meanwhile, a number of other Silicon Valley companies are also working on variations of the concept of connecting calling services and web pages.
Ribbit recently raised $10 million in a second round led by Allegis Capital, and joined by KPG Ventures, which follows on a $3 million round raised from Alsop Louie Ventures more than a year ago.
Here’s a video about the Ribbit-Salesforce integration:
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